02 Aug 2019

US Navy commissions guided missile destroyer

The US Navy has commissioned a new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer ship for the DDG 51 program.

The guided missile destroyer will be named after Paul Robert Ignatius, who served in the Navy in WWII and acted as assistant secretary of defence for installations and logistics under the Lyndon B Johnson administration. The USS Paul Ignatius will be the 67th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and one of 21 ships under contract for the DDG 51 program.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conduct a variety of missions from peacetime presence and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief to sea control and power projection. Built in the Flight IIA configuration, the ship delivers rapid reaction time, high firepower, and improved electronic warfare capabilities.

Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the Navy, said: “The future USS Paul Ignatius stands as proof of what the teamwork of all our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together.”

“From the start of the acquisition process, to the keel laying and christening, to today’s commissioning and the many missions she will fulfill going forward, this destroyer enhances our capabilities for air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense.”

The Arleigh Burke class (DDG 51) destroyers replaced the Charles F. Adams class (DDG 2). The Arleigh Burke-class was designed with an all-new hull form, incorporating much of the Spruance class (DD 963) destroyer propulsion and machinery plant, and the integrated Aegis Weapons System (AWS) proven on the Kidd class (DD 993) destroyers and installed on the larger Ticonderoga class cruisers.

A DDG modernisation program is underway to provide a comprehensive mid-life upgrade that will ensure the DDG 51 class will maintain mission relevance and remain an integral part of the Navy’s Sea Power 21 Plan. The modernisation changes are also being introduced to new construction ships to increase the baseline capabilities of the newest ships in the class, and to provide commonality between new construction ships and modernised in-service ships.

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